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Architecture & Built Environment Library: Prescribed Books and Resources

This Branch Library serves the Schools of Architecture & Planning, Construction Economics & Management

General Note

General note: 

The Architecture programme does not require students to purchase textbooks, however, some general reference books not specific to any course which are recommended to be purchased if students have the resources to do so, as they will be useful for the entire course of study and beyond.  These are listed as recommended purchases in the list below.  Prescribed readings will be made available through the Wits Library or through course readers, which are already covered by fees.  Readings which will be issued by lecturers in each course and readily available either through the Wits Library or course readers are not listed below; these will be issued in course outlines or reading lists in the first two weeks of classes.  Students may wish to consult with their lecturers before making any purchases, even if they are recommended. 

Some materials for drawing, model-making and fabrication will also be made available, paid for by student fees.  However, additional material purchases will likely be necessary throughout the year.  These will be elaborated within each course. 

General References



  • Architects’ Data (4th edition) / by Neufert, E. and Neufert, P.  (Recommended purchase)  
  • The Architect’s Studio Companion (6th edition) / by Allen, E.  (Recommended purchase) 
  • Sun Wind and Light / by De Kay, M. and Brown, G.Z. 


ARPL1000 Architectural Design and Theory I

  • Architecture: Form space & order / by Ching, F.D.K. (Prescribed reading & recommended purchase)


ARPL1001 Theory and Practice of Construction I

  • Build Aid: The How to of building / by Alexander, G. (Prescribed reading & recommended purchase)


ARPL1028 Design Representation I

  • Architectural Graphics / by Ching, F.D.K.  (Prescribed reading & recommended purchase)


Books Links



The School of Architecture & Planning has 3 computer labs, one of which has over 100 computers and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for student use.  Thus, purchasing a laptop is not required, as all students can access our machines when needed.  

If you prefer to have your own laptop, and have the resources to buy one, we strongly recommend you wait until you have a better understanding of the software you’ll be using and the requirements it places on the machine before buying.  Architectural software can be memory-heavy, and it would be unwise to buy a laptop ill-fitted for the task. As an educational institution, we are not in a position to make commercial recommendations.  However, we can recommend that anyone who is planning to purchase a laptop look for one with sufficient RAM (ideally 16GB or higher), a newest generation processor, a good graphics card and a larger screen (15 to 17 inches) to handle the graphic software you will likely use.  High-end specs will, of course, increase cost, so we recommend you consult with our IT officer after you arrive at the School before purchasing.